Natural Resources Management Plan
The City of Alexandria’s 2018 Natural Resource Management Plan represents the City’s development of a strategic course of action for preserving, protecting, and sustainability in managing Alexandria’s natural resources and native biodiversity. This plan aligns with other initiatives and policies adopted by the City over the years, while expanding on them by specifically addressing natural resource conservation and management. For additional information, visit the Natural Resources Management Plan project page.
Natural resource management includes vegetation surveys and natural resource inventories and assessments throughout the City’s parks, natural areas, open space, wetlands, and waterways for the purposes of planning, management, and resource protection. It also involves providing environmental review, technical assessments, Best Management Practices, and reports to City staff and consultants, as well as assistance to federal, state, and local agencies, organizations, and individuals concerned with natural resources in Alexandria. In addition, this service increasingly includes overseeing and performing non-native invasive plant control efforts throughout the City, as well as ecological restoration projects.
In Alexandria these activities are coordinated by the Natural Lands Management Section of the Dept. Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities (RPCA), Natural Resources Division. In addition, a number of ongoing invasive exotic plant removal, stream cleanup, and ecological restoration planting projects are partnered with the National Park Service, Earth Sangha, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria, Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, and other locally active organizations and numerous volunteers.
Geologic features are also important natural and scenic resources that support rare and specialized natural communities. In 2016, Geologist Tony Fleming completed a several year project to survey and map Alexandria’s geology and soils, the first comprehensive geologic survey for the City. For further information on Alexandria’s geology, peruse the Geologic Atlas of the City of Alexandria, Virginia and Vicinity at www.alexandriava.gov/89974. Also, the greatly revised and improved Native Vascular Flora of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, including natural communities within the City, is served at the Alexandria Flora and Natural Communities webpage at https://www.alexandriava.gov/22560, with material continually added and updated.
In addition, The City of Alexandria Herbarium (AVCH) is the repository for a baseline collection of native and exotic plant species and is an invaluable resource for conservation planning. The herbarium contains a representative specimen of each of the City’s native and exotic plants, as well as voucher specimens for the Alexandria Flora. This research collection is a representation of Alexandria’s botanical diversity and is an important resource for research and managing natural resources.
Documenting Alexandria’s old-age and notable native trees is also an important component of the City’s natural resource management program. Many old and very large specimens have been found in the City of Alexandria, including an American Holly (Ilex opaca) and Dwarf Hackberry (Celtis tenuifolia) that are recognized as National Champions (“the largest known of its species”) on the National Register of Big Trees – www.americanforests.org/resources/bigtrees. Numerous other trees were discovered that are regional, state, and City champions. Alexandria trees that are State Champions are included on the Virginia Big Tree Program. These old-age trees are not only unique ecological resources, but also serve as touchstones to the past and provide important evidence of our vanishing natural history and floral past.
Together these ongoing programs and projects provide a variety of services and contributions to help maintain and preserve the many special sites, natural areas, and native biodiversity that remain in the City of Alexandria.
- Natural Resource Management in the City of Alexandria
- Conservation Assessment and Natural Resources Management Plan for Chinquapin Park and Forest Park, City of Alexandria, Virginia
- Remnant Natural Areas in Parks, Waterways, and Undeveloped Sites in the City of Alexandria, Virginia: Eisenhower Valley.
- Remnant Natural Areas in Parks, Waterways, and Undeveloped Sites in the City of Alexandria, Virginia: Beauregard Street Corridor
- Remnant Natural Areas in Parks, Waterways, and Undeveloped Sites in the City of Alexandria, Virginia: Seminary Hill Area
- Remnant Natural Areas in Parks, Waterways, and Undeveloped Sites in the City of Alexandria, Virginia - North Ridge Area
- Managed Meadows and Grassland Habitats in the City of Alexandria, Virginia
- Keeping it Natural
- Inventory and Analysis of Grow Zones
- Instructions for Removing English Ivy and Discussion of Safety
- The Limits of Restoration - 2017 MAIPC-SERMA Conference